Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine



After having a total hip replacement, I’m taking a water aerobics class. I notice that some of the other ladies have a much smaller scar from their hip replacement surgery. Why is that?


There are several methods for replacing the hip joint. The doctor may open the hip from the front, side, or back. This usually requires a long incision so that the doctor can see the entire joint. More recently, new equipment is making it possible for doctors to “see” the joint using a computer. A special navigation system uses software, imaging, and an infrared eye to track inside the hip. The doctor makes a small window opening in the tissue and uses the tracking tools to see what’s he or she is doing. This makes for a smaller incision and may explain why you’re seeing a difference in the length of the scar. Anthony M. DiGioia III, MD, et al. Mini-Incision Technique for Total Hip Arthroplasty With Navigation. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. March 2003. Vol 2. Pp. 123-128.

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